Fort Worth police on Thursday released bodycam footage of Sunday’s deadly shooting of a 20-year-old man. Police said the video shows the man with a gun in his hand as he runs from officers.
Police said they were responding to a disturbance call Sunday involving JaQuavion Slaton. He then fled the scene. Police chased him — and noticed a gun in his hand.
The jumpy video then shows Slaton in a truck before police surrounded him with their guns drawn. Interim Police Chief Ed Kraus says officers had refrained from shooting at Slaton during the chase. But that changed when Slaton was in the vehicle.
"When they're confronted with somebody who's considered armed and dangerous, has a propensity for violence and is secreted himself in a vehicle where he can shoot out of, they don't necessarily have the option to de-escalate," Kraus said.
The investigation is ongoing. Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price called the shooting a tragedy for all involved.
"We have a commitment to be more transparent, and this goes a long way toward that," Price said. "This is an issue where it's a no-win. This young man made a mistake of not surrendering when he should've, put our officers in jeopardy or so they felt, and it looks like, no shooting is ever a good response."
Richard Vazquez, who lives in the Stop Six neighborhood where the shooting occurred, welcomed the release of the bodycam video. He calls it a good first step. Still, he says many in the neighborhood just don't trust the police.
"We need to have people in the community start coming out alive in situations like this," Vazquez said. "Like what happened to talking them down? What happened to pleading with them to actually get them alive? Instead, we just automatically use force. I do believe the force was unnecessary."
The Tarrant County Medical Examiner says Slaton was shot multiple times, including one shot that was self-inflicted to the head. Almost any of those shots could have been fatal, though, he said. It's not clear if the self-inflicted gunshot was intentional or accidental.
— Fort Worth Police (@fortworthpd) June 13, 2019